Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Movie Review: Kronk's New Groove

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Funny
Cons: Weak story; works too hard to bring back all the characters
The Bottom Line:
Not a great movie
But provides plenty of laughs
I'm glad I watched it

Kronk's New Groove is a Surprisingly Entertaining Sequel

My prejudice again direct to video sequel movies has come back to bite me.  I avoided Kronk's New Groove for several years now because I just knew it wouldn't live up to the original.  And, if I'm going to be honest, it doesn't.  But that doesn't mean it isn't plenty of fun in its own right.

Some time has gone by between The Emperor's New Groove and the opening of this film.  We reconnect with Kronk (Patrick Warburton) who is now working at the chef in the greasy spoon diner we saw in the first film.  The restaurant is doing well, but Kronk is in a panic because his dad is coming for a visit, and his dad thinks that Kronk has a big house on a hill and a wife and kids.

Through two flashbacks, we get two separate stories of how this confusion came to be.  In the first, Kronk reteams with Yzma (Eartha Kitt) to sell an anti-aging potion to the elderly.  In the second, Kronk meets the woman of his dreams, and she turns out to be a rival Junior Chipmunk leader.  But things are looking grim for Kronk to finally get his dad's approval.  Will he get it?

So let's get back to that honesty thing.  The story (or I should say stories) don't hold together well.  They are very predictable.  The moral about being true to yourself is rammed home a bit as well.  Having seen some of the other direct to video sequels Disney has done, I wasn't that surprised by these things.

However, I really didn't care because I was having so much fun watching it.  The movie is even sillier than the first one.  It's downright slapstick most of the time, in fact.  There are also some pop culture references that will fly over most kid's heads, but their parents will love them.  I watched this movie with a friend of mine (after his wife insisted it was a good film), and we were both laughing from start to finish.

They work hard to bring back all the main characters from the first movie.  Frankly, that was probably the most forced part of the movie.  I mean, would Kronk really work with Yzma again?  Most of the characters are more cameos, and they do work.  They really worked hard to shoehorn Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) in, however, and it was painfully obvious.

The animation is workable, with no noticeable flaws.  It isn't anything groundbreaking; it was exactly what I expected from a direct to video movie.

Anyone going into this movie with high expectations will be disappointed.  Anyone looking to laugh will be highly rewarded.  Kronk's New Groove is pure silly fun, and it doesn't really pretend to be anything else.

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